July 19, 2024

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Microsoft’s Notepad Gets Spell Checking and Autocorrect 40 Years After Launch

Microsoft’s Notepad Gets Spell Checking and Autocorrect 40 Years After Launch

Microsoft has finally rolled out spell-checking and autocorrect to Notepad in Windows 11, more than 40 years after the simple text editor was first introduced to Windows in 1983. The software giant began testing both features in March, and has now quietly started enabling them for all Windows 11 users in recent days.

Notepad’s spell-check feature is almost identical to the way Word or Edge highlights misspelled words, with a red line underneath them to make mistakes clear. I say almost identical because when you right-click on a misspelled word in Notepad, the spell-check submenu doesn’t automatically expand like Microsoft does in Word, so you have to click again to see a list of correct spellings.

It’s curious that Microsoft hasn’t fully embraced the way spell checking works in Word, especially since the company demonstrated the ability to right-click and instantly select corrections in Notepad during its beta testing phase. Microsoft Word first had a spell checking feature in 1985, when it was originally known as Multi-Tool Word for Xenix and MS-DOS systems. Microsoft originally created Notepad, which was first known as Multi-Tool Notepad in 1983, as a simplified version of Word.

You can easily disable the new spell checking and autocorrect features in Notepad.
Screenshot by Tom Warren/The Verge

You can enable or disable spell checking based on file type in Notepad for Windows 11, so if you don’t want to see corrections in files like .md, .srt, .lrc, or .lic, you can toggle it on in the Settings menu. Microsoft has also added autocorrect to Notepad, which means typos will be corrected automatically when spell checking is enabled. Autocorrect can also be disabled in Notepad settings.

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